United Kingdom

BBC longwave update.
On 25 Sep the BBC started, as first reported by participants of the Digital Spy forum, to put an announcement at the end of its Daily Service programme:
(BBC announcement 25-29 Sep 2023.mp3)

This confirmed what will not be more than an interim solution because it is planned to close the BBC Radio 4 Extra channel within the next few years, too. It further confirmed the closure date of the Radio 4 (LW version) mediumwave fill-in transmitters. And it suggested that no BBC programming would appear on 198 kHz anymore from April.

But the Daily Service edition on 2 Oct contained a redone announcement, now again with the already known wording about the end of “a separate longwave schedule”, leaving open the possibility, while not really confirming it, that BBC programme material could still be transmit on 198 kHz after March.
(BBC announcement 02 Oct 2023.mp3)

There are indications that the transmitters could stay on air beyond 31 March because the Teleswitching function will still be needed. It looks as if the BBC is not willing to pay a single penny for that, thus previous references to a “third party platform” and the avoidance of clearly stating what will happen.

Digital Spy participants wonder if perhaps regulatory problems could be seen for putting out a carrier without AM component on this broadcasting signal, as France does on 162 kHz for soon to be seven years now. On the other hand some could say “competitive advantage” if the BBC has its programming put on such an expensive distribution platform free of charge. So it looks as if the piggybacking of the Teleswitch application now leads to a bad mess.

Kai Ludwig(2023-10-02)